Meeting Minutes : Select Board Minutes – 12/1/21



Members Present: W. Joseph Gagnon, David Mills, Alicia Malay, Tom Hooker, Thomas “Hank” Pelkey. Others Present: Ed Bove(via Zoom), Vanessa Mills(via Zoom), Beth McReynolds, Peter Coppola, Lisa Wright(via Zoom), John Haverstock-Town Manager and Kelly Giard-Recording Secretary.

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Chair Malay.

J. Haverstock stated that there was a need to enter into Executive Session for Personnel(Recreation Department, Town Manager Recruitment, Town Report Honorees) and D. Mills said he wished to add another Personnel item(Town Manager). Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to enter into Executive Session for Personnel. Motion passed 5-0.

J. Haverstock stated that there was no need to amend the agenda. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to adopt the agenda as presented. Motion passed 5-0.



The minutes of the November 17, 2021 meeting were signed, with no corrections.



The orders in the amount of $90,530.48 and Payroll in the amount of $12,355.29 and Fire Department Payroll in the amount of $40,082.89 were signed, with the following discussion:

J. Gagnon inquired about the expense for a towed camper. J. Haverstock explained that this camper was abandoned in July and has been sitting at the salvage yard since that time. The Highway department staff was able to dismantle the camper and place it in a dumpster.


Town Manager’s Report:

J. Haverstock reported the following:

  • The Sidewalk Scoping Study was discussed by the Sidewalk Committee meeting on November 30, 2021 and there will be another committee meeting on December 21, 2021. There will be a required Public Hearing scheduled for some time in January or February 2022.
  • There was an OMYA Community Issues Team meeting on November 18, 2021 and it was announced that Wayne Wilmans will be stepping down as the Plant Manager in the near future and will be replaced by John Shell. There was more information in the packets for review.
  • Green Mountain Power was asked to max out the wattage at the streetlight at the intersection of Route 7 and Plains Road to better illuminate the new intersection configuration.
  • The BioRetention Structure recommended by the Rutland Regional Planning Commission in the area of Arch and Mechanic Streets will soon be installed. This site is where the public sand pile was formerly located. The sand pile is now located in the rear parking lot of the Municipal Offices.
  • According to the last weekly report, the project of reconstruct Segment 1 of U S Route 7 is complete. There may be a few “punch list” items addressed in the spring.
  • There will be a Holiday Staff Meeting on December 9, 2021 at 9:00 AM. Members of the Select Board are invited to attend.


Select Board Member Remarks:

Chair Malay stated that she has received complaints regarding the reconfiguration of the Route 7 and Plains Road intersection. The Select Board discussed this area and will revisit the discussion once residents become used to it.


Public Comment:

Ed Bove from the Rutland Regional Planning Commission was present to discuss the Clean Water Service Provider program. Mr. Bove showed a map of the areas that are within the Otter Creek and River Basins and explained that the Addison County Regional Planning Commission would be involved in handling the project. Mr. Bove will send detailed information to the Town Manager for distribution.

Vanessa Mills was present to discuss the Grandpa’s Knob wind project and stated that she is concerned that the developer has a history of “running under the radar” on projects. D. Mills asked that there be supporting documentation submitted for review and Ms. Mills stated that these articles are publicly available and that she would provide the information.

Ms. Mills and Mr. Bove exited at 7:00 PM.


Old Business:

Update on Recruitment/Hiring of New Town Manager: J. Haverstock stated that he has spoken with the VLCT recruiter and the advertisements are out with an application deadline of December 10, 2021. There was discussion regarding the interview process and the Select Board agreed that VLCT would screen applications and recommend a list of interviewees.


Discuss Hubbardton’s Letter Regarding Proposed Grandpa’s Knob Wind Turbine Project: A letter was received from the Town of Hubbardton in opposition to the Grandpa’s Knob Wind Turbine Project. The Select Board members reviewed the letter in detail. Chair Malay stated that the residents of Pittsford have also reached out regarding the project. Motion by A. Malay and seconded by T. Hooker to send a letter to the interested parties objecting to the project. The motion failed 2 – 3 (Mills, Pelkey and Gagnon opposed). D. Mills stated that there has been opposition shown and he believes the developers should be given an opportunity to do another presentation outlining the project and the financial implications before the Board takes a position. J. Haverstock noted that Mr. Carlson has asked to provide an update at the January 19, 2022 Select Board meeting. Chair Malay explained that the project is against the Pittsford Town Plan as well as the Rutland Regional Planning Commission Plan. Motion by T. Pelkey and seconded by D. Mills to table the discussion to the January 19, 2022 meeting. Motion passed 4 – 1 (Malay opposed).


Continue Discussion of Proposed Adams Road Solar Project: J. Haverstock stated that the developers filed their application for a Certificate of Public Good on November 17, 2021. There was discussion regarding the legal and financial positions of the Town. Motion by D. Mills and seconded by T. Hooker to take a no action at this time. Motion passed 4 – 1. Lisa Wright stated that the property was listed for sale with a listing which highlighted the Town Trails System.


New Business

Presentation of Third FY2023 Budget Draft: J. Haverstock reported that the insurance coverage premium information has been reflected in the current budget drafts. There will be more review to come in the near future.


Review Assessor’s Errors and Omissions (Parcel #1828): Lisa Wright read a letter that was received from Mr. Coppola and Ms. McReynolds regarding Parcel #1828 located on Stevens Road. The subject of the letter was the number of bedrooms. The Structure is located on 15.8 acres with a detached garage and is considered to be 73% complete. The zoning permit and wastewater permit were approved for a 3 bedroom house, however the landowners maintain that their home has only 2 bedrooms. Ms. Wright stated that the owners were given the option to grieve the assessment and that she was contacted after the grievance deadline.

Following discussion, a motion was made by T. Hooker and seconded by D. Mills to reject the request for Error & Omission to recommend that the Board of Abatement review the situation. Motion passed 5-0. The property owner was advised to be in contact with the Board of Abatement to file their request.

Ms. McReynolds and Mr. Coppola exited at 7:14 PM.


EXECUTIVE SESSION: Motion by T. Hooker and seconded by T. Pelkey to go into Executive Session for Personnel, where premature knowledge would be damaging to the Town and may be jeopardized by public disclosure. In accordance with 1 VSA 312 (b), where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the Municipality or person involved at a substantial disadvantage, the Board unanimously agreed to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of Personnel at 7:48 PM. Town Manager Haverstock was invited to remain for Executive Session.

The Select Board exited Executive Session at 8:31 PM, with no action taken.

The Select Board adjourned at 8:31 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Select Board will be held on December 15, 2021.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Alicia Malay, Chair


David Mills, Vice Chair


Thomas Hooker, Selectman

__________________________ W. Joseph Gagnon, Selectman


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Selectman